Amita Gupta, M.D., M.H.S., an expert in the global treatment, prevention and control of diseases such as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and tuberculosis (TB), has been named as the seventh director of Johns Hopkins Medicine’s Division of Infectious Diseases. She takes over leadership of one of institution’s largest divisions — with more than 150 faculty members, clinical fellows and postdoctoral trainees — from David Thomas, M.D., M.P.H., who retired after 15 years as director.
“I am incredibly honored and humbled to assume this post, especially during a time of pandemic,” says Gupta, professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, with a joint appointment in international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “Because of COVID-19, our division has been called to serve more intensely than ever before and at a time when our discipline has never been more important.”
Most recently, Gupta served as deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education and remains faculty co-chair for the Johns Hopkins India Institute.
Gupta’s research and clinical interests include global health; infectious diseases; emerging infections; COVID-19, TB, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and co-infection care and treatment clinical trials in India and other resource-constrained countries; mother-to-child infectious disease transmission prevention; and antimicrobial resistance.
Gupta is an author of more than 220 peer-reviewed research publications and has mentored more than 35 junior scientists in the United States and India.
Since coming to Johns Hopkins Medicine in 2003, Gupta has focused primarily on infectious diseases in India, where she leads several Indo-Johns Hopkins research collaborations funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Unitaid global health initiative, among others. She serves in leadership positions at RePORT India (for which Johns Hopkins is is the U.S. coordinating hub) and RePORT International, two multilateral global consortia for TB research.
Gupta also is co-principal investigator of the NIH-funded JHU Baltimore-India Clinical Trials Unit, which seeks to identify new treatments and vaccines for HIV, TB and other infections globally through the AIDS Clinical Trials Group and the International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Network (for which Gupta is the co-chair of both the TB Scientific Committee and the cross-network TB vaccines working group).
Most recently, she has been a member of the Johns Hopkins Precision Medicine Center of Excellence for COVID-19.
Gupta’s team within the Division of Infectious Diseases focuses on international drug trials to prevent and treat HIV, TB and complications associated with these diseases in adults, pregnant persons and children — particularly for those who reside in low-income, underserved settings. One example is PHOENIx MDR-TB (Protecting Households On Exposure to Newly Diagnosed Index Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis Patients), a clinical trial for preventing disease in adults and children exposed to strains of TB bacteria resistant to numerous medications.
The group also conducts epidemiological studies that assess risk factors and biomarkers associated with infectious disease outcomes; sex differences in COVID-19; the connections between HIV, inflammation and nutrition in international settings; TB in pregnancy; and TB in India, as part of the Cohort for Tuberculosis Research by the Indo-U.S. Medical Partnership.
In 2019, Gupta was appointed by then-U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to a four-year term on the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Council, the chief advisory committee for the NIH agency.
Gupta earned her bachelor of science degree in materials science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her medical degree from Harvard Medical School. She completed her internal medicine residency at the University of California San Francisco, followed by fellowships with the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service and the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Gupta also holds a master’s degree in health sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
The Division of Infectious Diseases was founded by Ivan Bennett, M.D., in 1958. Since its inception, the division has established a community where innovative approaches are developed in training, research and clinical care. The outcome has been decades of scientific and clinical advances, distinguished leaders in the field and top-rated patient care and services.